Research Profile

Dr. Anna K. Blakney is interested in developing drug delivery systems for the treatment and/or prevention of infectious diseases. She is motivated to pursue translational designs that will impact populations in low-resource settings. While her formal training is in chemical and biological engineering with specific expertise in polymeric biomaterials, drug delivery, and host response, she is interested in how formulation of delivery systems can be optimized to interact with the immune system. Specifically, she aims to study how the formulation and route of administration can mediate an immune response to increase effectiveness.

Research Training

Anna is currently a post-doctoral research fellow in Dr. Robin Shattock‘s Laboratory at Imperial College London. Anna completed her PhD with Dr. Kim Woodrow in 2016 at the University of Washington in the Department of Bioengineering. Her research in the Woodrow lab focused on the development of an electrospun nanofiber platform for topical delivery of drug combinations, specifically antiretrovirals and contraceptives. Her graduate work was funded by NSF GRFP and an NIH Molecular Medicine Training Grant. Anna also received an NSF/USAID GROW Fellowship to spend 6 months studying how the BCG vaccine affects infant susceptibility to HIV in the laboratory of Dr. Heather Jaspan at the University of Cape Town. Anna received her B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from University of Colorado at Boulder, in 2012. As an undergraduate in Dr. Stephanie Bryant‘s laboratory, she characterized the role of PEG-based hydrogel stiffness in the foreign body response and the anti-inflammatory properties of differentiating stem cells. She also completed an REU with Dr. William Wagner at the University of Pittsburgh that focused on using a biodegradable hydrogel for intramyocardial protein delivery.